Plasma vs. LCD

SBMongoos

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Okay, not getting clear on this and could use some help. I see power consumptions to be almost twice or more of that of LCD TVs. I get the differences but want the best bang for the buck. I'm under the impression that Plasmas get warm and are power hungry. Been looking at 40" LCDs and the Panasonic TCP-42S1 was recommended to me to consider.

For example I'm looking at the Panasonic TCP-42S1 (Plasms) and it says:
Rated Power Consumption - 485 W (looks huge to me!)
Standby Power Consumption - 0.3 W (I understand this fine)
On Mode Average Power Consumption - 173 W (what? a little confused here)

Compare to a Samsung LN40B540 it says:

Who knows. Cannot find any information at a half a dozen sources. What? Anyway based on what I've seen on Sharps units and others at local stores I've seen around 210 to 240 watts for a 40".

The Panasonic looks very nice but 480w. Not sure I'm clear and/or comparing apples to apples how how power consumption compares.

I have found this bit of info:

POWER CONSUMPTION

Not a very important issue but worth noting. Because LCDs use florescent backlighting to produce images, they require substantially less power to operate than plasma TVs do. LCD displays consume about half the power that plasma displays consume. The reason: Plasmas use a lot of electricity to light each and every pixel you see on a screen - even the dark ones. Though plasma manufacturers have improved voltage consumption requirements a plasma TV will consume around a third more power for the same size display.

From here: http://www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com/plasmatvreviews/plasma-vs-lcd.html
 
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Omegas

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Plasma's are hot and power hungry but the picture is amazing. Just put an LCD and Plasma of similar price/size side by side and check for yourself.
 

rhouck

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Plasma power usage varies depending on what is being displayed on screen. It takes maximum power to display a pure white screen and minimum power to display a full black screen; that is why you can see such huge disparity in the numbers. The reality is obviously somewhere in the middle, since no one watches a full white or full black screen :p Therefore just look at that "average" number.

But also keep in mind that the difference between a plasma and an LCD is maybe $25/year in electricity bills (depending on usage, local rates, etc obviously). It really shouldn't be something you base your purchasing decision on unless you're a dirty hippie (in which case you wouldn't be buying a TV :p )
 

Nenu

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Some of this years Panasonic models are much more efficient and consume about 1/2 the power.
Not sure which models though.
I'm using last years PZ4280B and wouldnt change it (except for a lower power version), awesome TV :)

ps the 485W figure is max power consumption.
I put a meter on mine and it also peaks momentarily about the same, average is lower and depends on how high you like to have the contrast and what is being displayed.
 

SBMongoos

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Some of this years Panasonic models are much more efficient and consume about 1/2 the power.
Not sure which models though.
I'm using last years PZ4280B and wouldnt change it (except for a lower power version), awesome TV :)

ps the 485W figure is max power consumption.
I put a meter on mine and it also peaks momentarily about the same, average is lower and depends on how high you like to have the contrast and what is being displayed.

How long did you leave your meter attached? Just curious if you have a sense of what the average is.
 

SBMongoos

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Be nice if in the specs they would tell you average, etc. Not sure why sites like Samsung don't share the power consumption and tell you to look on the ac adapter. BS.

Odd about the plasmas but does make sense. Hmm...

That being the case then the Panasonic I referred to would "average" about 243 watts which is very comparable to an LCD.

It seems to me the Plasmas have a picture closer to the old CRT types whereas LCDs see a little different. Maybe a little sharper and crisper. I've been reading now with the LCDs running 120/240Hz (and especially LED) that they are getting so sharp that backdrops and starting to look fake as they provide too much detail. Can't imagine the impact it will have on the talking heads on cable news.
 

Nenu

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How long did you leave your meter attached? Just curious if you have a sense of what the average is.

I did have some figures but didnt write them down.
Low contrast was around 200W average.
Checking high contrast again, its measuring around 300W watching TV...
Dark scenes drop to around 150W, bright scenes hit 480W momentarily.
Contrast is whacked up pretty high, just over 75% ! Looks wicked, whites are really bright :)

It varies massively depending what you are watching though.
Simpsons 4:3 is around 260 to 480W.
4:3 regular TV seems to average around 280W.
Widescreen 16:9 BBC news is around 400W.

Watching an old 16:9 cowboys and indians film, in a dark cave its around 160W, outside its 250W to 420W.

Wider aspect ratio films (black borders top/bottom) average a bit lower, rarely hitting 400W.
Apollo 13 varies from around 200W to 350W, in cockpit scenes are around 200W to 250W.
Iron Man varies between 65W (yep 65W) and occasionally 485W !! mostly around 300W.

PC web browsing in high contrast is around 250W to 480W.
I'm not sure everyone will use contrast as high as I do though.
At low contrast PC use is around 80w to 220W.
This meter seems to read slightly high so take my results with a pinch of salt.

edit: Dragons Den 1080p is around 220W to 280W.

edit2: Since putting the meter on the plasma, 3:51hrs have passed watching telly (+ the above testing) and its used 1.13KWh.
Thats an average of 293W with high contrast.
I'll post the average again later if I remember.
 
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Climber

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It seems to me the Plasmas have a picture closer to the old CRT types whereas LCDs see a little different. Maybe a little sharper and crisper. I've been reading now with the LCDs running 120/240Hz (and especially LED) that they are getting so sharp that backdrops and starting to look fake as they provide too much detail. Can't imagine the impact it will have on the talking heads on cable news.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the 120/240Hz doesn't effect the overall picture, just clears up fast moving scenes like sports or certain action scenes. I couldn't really tell a difference between my 120 HZ LCD and my old plasma on pretty much anything.
 

Nenu

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The refresh frequency has no effect on how sharp the image is.
The frequencies above 120Hz are internal for smoothing the image where there is a lot of motion, and for helping generate a 24p/Hz image
Plasmas have much less problems with fast motion.
120Hz mode is useful to generate a true 24p mode for Blu Ray movies etc, and for frame doubling.
Panasonic plasmas can output at 100/120Hz but still need 50/60Hz input, they frame double to keep the phosphors lit longer which reduces flicker.

My UK TV uses 100Hz mode at 50Hz input refresh (ie for uk tv) but uses 60Hz for 60Hz input.
I hear the US models frame double 60Hz to 120Hz.
I always use 60Hz without frame doubling on my uk plasma (even for 24p material). When new I could see the flicker but after a few months, it isnt noticeable so 60Hz is great for everything.
This TV has a 24p mode but I dont need to use it :)
 
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JohnDC

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plasma is better for sports watching, lcd is better for movies

Based on what? Plasma is certainly better for sports, it doesnt suffer from motion artifacts like LCD does. (Look at the background on an LCD when there is fast action).
For movies, Plasma can do true blacks, whereas LCD is limited to various shades of gray. I have had a 42" Vizio LCD for the past 2 years, and really like it. Just got a Pioneer KRP-500M Kuro plasma. To say jaw-dropping is an understatement. Now this comparing a Rolls Royce to a Yugo, but still......................
 

SBMongoos

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the 120/240Hz doesn't effect the overall picture, just clears up fast moving scenes like sports or certain action scenes. I couldn't really tell a difference between my 120 HZ LCD and my old plasma on pretty much anything.

I may not have been clear. What I have been hearing is that the LED LCDs are pointing out things that we are not used to seeing. Since you get the sharpness with that high contrast. Recently read on another forum where someone felt that some of the LCDs didn't look as natural as plasmas.
 

DDR4040

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I may not have been clear. What I have been hearing is that the LED LCDs are pointing out things that we are not used to seeing. Since you get the sharpness with that high contrast. Recently read on another forum where someone felt that some of the LCDs didn't look as natural as plasmas.

You could spend every waking moment in the next 6 months doing nothing but reading forums and review websites, and you still won't get a definitive answer on which format is best. The best format is the one that is right for you. It sounds like you are familiar with all of the terminology now, go out and start comparing them for yourself. I guarantee, one way or another, you will come away with a preference. Good luck.
 

flegg

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I spent way to much time reading about this when I bought my TV. 120hz, contrast ratios, input lag, 720p downscaling, response time.

IMO the best bang for buck hands down is a Samsung ln40a550 or a Panasonic Plasma.
(40inches is what you want right? ln46a550, ln52a550 if not)

All the crap they added since the a550 series including 120hz adds input lag and/or brings the colors further away from the sRGB standard.

You can pick up a new ln40a550 for $750 after CB if you bing it. You could try a ln40a650 (120hz) but it will be 1,110+. With 120hz on the motion blur will be less and you may get true 24p with blu-ray discs but it will add input lag and many people have said they turn it off because it doesn't look "natural."

My experience with the a550 series:
1080p movies, 720p movies, and HDTV is just dandy. The blacks are pretty damn good. The power usage is low to very low compared to other TVs if that matters to you. Input lag very low for an LCD. The motion blur doesn't bug me AT ALL in sports.

Motion blur in games is another story, especially with a ps3 THAT REFUSES TO DO 1080p IN WAY TOO MANY GAMES /SIGH

Sometimes I wish I bought a Panasonic Plasma because the phosphor lag in plasmas bugs me much less than the motion blur in my LCD. THAT SAID, the motion blur is far from terrible ~ I do not think it affects my performance in games at all. It is just it would be nice to have a crisp screen when racing in a platformer or moving my crosshair fast in an FPS.

If you do decide to go Samsung, make sure you have plans for getting some speakers hooked up, because the built-in speakers will drive you crazy trying to listen to speech.
 

SBMongoos

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You could spend every waking moment in the next 6 months doing nothing but reading forums and review websites, and you still won't get a definitive answer on which format is best. The best format is the one that is right for you. It sounds like you are familiar with all of the terminology now, go out and start comparing them for yourself. I guarantee, one way or another, you will come away with a preference. Good luck.

I agree. Just like buying speakers. Just about everyone's ears are different. You have to go listen for yourself. Getting the info provides some good feedback and opinions.
 

SBMongoos

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I spent way to much time reading about this when I bought my TV. 120hz, contrast ratios, input lag, 720p downscaling, response time.

IMO the best bang for buck hands down is a Samsung ln40a550 or a Panasonic Plasma.
(40inches is what you want right? ln46a550, ln52a550 if not)

All the crap they added since the a550 series including 120hz adds input lag and/or brings the colors further away from the sRGB standard.

You can pick up a new ln40a550 for $750 after CB if you bing it. You could try a ln40a650 (120hz) but it will be 1,110+. With 120hz on the motion blur will be less and you may get true 24p with blu-ray discs but it will add input lag and many people have said they turn it off because it doesn't look "natural."

My experience with the a550 series:
1080p movies, 720p movies, and HDTV is just dandy. The blacks are pretty damn good. The power usage is low to very low compared to other TVs if that matters to you. Input lag very low for an LCD. The motion blur doesn't bug me AT ALL in sports.

Motion blur in games is another story, especially with a ps3 THAT REFUSES TO DO 1080p IN WAY TOO MANY GAMES /SIGH

Sometimes I wish I bought a Panasonic Plasma because the phosphor lag in plasmas bugs me much less than the motion blur in my LCD. THAT SAID, the motion blur is far from terrible ~ I do not think it affects my performance in games at all. It is just it would be nice to have a crisp screen when racing in a platformer or moving my crosshair fast in an FPS.

If you do decide to go Samsung, make sure you have plans for getting some speakers hooked up, because the built-in speakers will drive you crazy trying to listen to speech.

Caught between Samsung (considering Sharp and Toshiba) LCD and the Panasonic Plasma. Looks like power usage is comparable between the two. Looking to do this at Costco.Will have to see. No bigger than 42" as my stand max is 40" and that plasma is 40.6". Probably will head out to another store to see if I can eye these next to each other to get my own opinion.

Any opinions on some of the extras like the USB and Internet access. I see some do photos and movies on the USB and some only photos. Sounds like the internet access is a bit scant and may not be worth the money. I think I could care less about widgets on my screen. Be cool to get movies, etc., off the net.

I think the big thing is if anyone knows for sure if these companies do f/w updates for these TVs and if so are they worth it. Extra features or just fixes?
 

IDversusEGO

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I have had an LCD and a plasma from about the same price point and will keep buying Panny plasmas until somehting drastic changes. the black levels did it for me. deep blacks do more than make the darks darker, they make the colors pop more. overall a much better viewing experience for me.
 

flegg

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If going to costco get a panasonic plasma. The B series from Samsung sucks.
 

Java Jack

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I have both a 50" Plasma in my living room and a 42" LCD in my bedroom. Plasma's do run hotter and consume more power. Plasma's look beuftiful with sharp vibrant images. LCD's are pretty damn close in picture quality though. There used to be a pretty big gap in pict. quality but LCD's have come a long way is performance. I think plasma pictures still look a little better though.

However, one question I would suggest you ask yourself is how big is your room? One problem I don't like about my plasma in my livingroom is that the room is about 15 x 15. The plasma heats that room up pretty quick. Fortunately, I have a ceiling fan so it helps keep in a little more comfortable in there when watching TV. But if you are planning on putting this in a smaller room, you should consider the heat output of the plasma and the impact on the room temps. Now, LCDs also get warm, but no where near what the plasmas get.

At the time, I bought the plasma because I could get a larger screen for the same cost as the LCD in a smaller size. However, if I had to do it again, I would probably go LCD for the living room since they don't put out as much heat.

In fact, I plan on replacing the plasma soon with a larger LCD, just need to pull the money together.
 

rhouck

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How old is your plasma? Do you know what the rated energy usage is?

I know the newer models have brought the energy consumption down somewhat and even heat output... and also that heat output varies from model to model too.

I know we have a new 42" plasma in the bedroom and can't ever remember noticing the room get noticeably warmer as a result of watching a movie. Though, like you, we have a ceiling fan in there which helps circulate air (and 42" is significantly smaller than 50" :) )
 

echn111

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Not sure why people are saying that it is ambigious which format is better - when it comes to image quality for home theater use, plasma is acknowledged as superior. This is not something you need to audition for or judge for yourself. Go to the professional home theater installers and ask. They will tell you. Simple as that.

LCD is newer technology and has improved signficantly and may eventually catch up to plasma, but not yet. Unless your budget is all over the place and you're an inconsistent buyer comparing a cheap plasma to a very expensive LCD, or a very old plasma to a brand new LCD, it's simple. And at the low end, it doesn't really matter - your picture quality will be poor no matter what format.

But LCD's run cooler, are more eco friendly, thinner and lighter and their manufacturer's have been advertising like crazy. If you want to go green, get an LCD. For a PC setup, it's LCD. If you're on a tight budget, a bit of a toss-up, but likely LCD. If you're into very thin and light screens, it is also LCD. But unless you're looking at a projector system, for the best viewing experience for home theater, there is only one option here: plasma.
 
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JaguarSKX

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I recently bought my LG 47LH90 LCD HTDV with LED local dimming backlight. Since I only had it for 3 days I have not had a chance to tweak it much. Getting home late from work does help either so I'll probably just use the weekends to tweak it.

Anywaste, I don't have any real complaints about the LG other than I am having problems with native resolution when I connect my HTPC to it. It's an over-scan issue, and adjusting to "under-scan" doesn't really help. This is something I need to investigate especially since it did properly display the desktop once. But the next time I powered up the PC there were over-scanning issues.

Blacks looks pretty good; it helps that it has local dimming. The white bloom effect is not very noticeable unless you are looking at an image on a black background and off center by about 30 degrees. The OSD also lets you choose between to Black Levels; low and high. I set it to low 'cause high makes things look washed out.

I think viewing angles looks pretty decents, it does use an IPS panel after all. Color shifting looks okay up to as much as 50 degrees off center, but I will need to check again. The OSD menu allows for the section of normal or wide gamut; I set mine to normal gamut.

Power consumption for this 47" HDTV ranges between around 65w to 140w based on a CNET review. However, they don't go into much details though about the settings. Power savings modes are: Off, Minimal, Medium, Maximum and 3 Second Delayed Off (or something like that). A nice touch is the fact you can turn off the red standby light; sometimes it's just too distracting.

Although this HDTV is advertised as "240Hz", it is really just a 120Hz HDTV. The additional "120Hz" is created by inserting black frames to increase sharpness. Think of a strobe light in a dark dance club. Everytime the light strobes, you can see everyone and if the strobe is very fast, they appear motionless. The LG LH90 series flashes the LED backlight very quickly to insert black frames, and when combined with the 120Hz mode, you get "True Motion" or whatever they call it.

So far I like the 47LH90 enough to keep it, but I haven't played around with calibration yet. I wish I had the room in my small apartment to have this HDTV and the Samsung 46A950 placed side to side for a direct comparision. I would keep the one with the better overal quality.
 

Java Jack

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How old is your plasma? Do you know what the rated energy usage is?

I know the newer models have brought the energy consumption down somewhat and even heat output... and also that heat output varies from model to model too.

I know we have a new 42" plasma in the bedroom and can't ever remember noticing the room get noticeably warmer as a result of watching a movie. Though, like you, we have a ceiling fan in there which helps circulate air (and 42" is significantly smaller than 50" :) )

It's about 1.5 years old. Things have improved over the past year, but even the newer ones I have looked at seem warmer than comparative LCDs.

I am interested in the new LEDs that are hitting the shelves. They are supposed to be even more green than LCDs, but I have not really checked them out as of yet.

The new Samsung super slim panels look really sexy, but again, not done any real research on them as of yet.
 

grendel19

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I have a Samsung 50" plasma in our basement/family room and it acts like a space heater. It's great during the Chicago winter, but terrible during the summer. You can feel the heat emanating just by walking near it.
 

Sta!nless

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My 50" Panasonic plasma doesn't seem to put out any real heat. Mine has 3 fans built into the back of it, blowing outward. I vote plasma as I'm too sensitive to motion blur unfortunately.
 

Nenu

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My 50" Panasonic plasma doesn't seem to put out any real heat. Mine has 3 fans built into the back of it, blowing outward. I vote plasma as I'm too sensitive to motion blur unfortunately.

Similarly, my 42" plasma has fans on the back and only gets 'warm to hot' on the front when it has displayed a bright image for a long time.
Adversely, LCD screens get hotter the darker the image :)

My screen is warm enough to be a nice place to put my feet, its rarely too warm.
Ahh, thanks for the reminder :D
 

Raptor007

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Get a plasma.
/thread

I bought an LCD a few years ago, but if I was buying right now it would definitely be a plasma. All the good ones are 1080p now, and the burn-in I was so paranoid about turns out to be mostly a non-issue.

(I still feel I made the right choice a few years ago, since most plasmas had low native resolutions like 720p or stretched 1024x768.)
 

JohnDC

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But LCD's run cooler, are more eco friendly, thinner and lighter and their manufacturer's have been advertising like crazy. If you want to go green, get an LCD. For a PC setup, it's LCD. If you're on a tight budget, a bit of a toss-up, but likely LCD. If you're into very thin and light screens, it is also LCD. But unless you're looking at a projector system, for the best viewing experience for home theater, there is only one option here: plasma.

My Pioneer KRP-500M is 2" thick, although at 75lbs, it is heavier than an equivalent size LCD.
 

RadXge

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plasma is better for sports watching, lcd is better for movies

Well, no. While LCDs have really improved over the last few years, nothing beat a Panasonic or Pioneer Kuro plasma. Static contrast ratio and video processing are the most important factor for movies and plasma wins hands down in that area.
 

RadXge

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LCD is newer technology and has improved signficantly and may eventually catch up to plasma, but not yet.

I do not know if LCD will eventually catch plasma, but OLED will.
 

SBMongoos

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Drag, the Panasonic TCP-42S1 is no longer listed at the Costco web site. Odd to as it was listed at $1099. When in a local store yesterday they had they TC-50PS14 for $1199 (not on special either). Today on their web site I see this TC-50PS14 on sale for $999 ($200 off). I wonder if they will re-list the TCP-42S1 at a lower price. 50" is too big for my application. Plus if I could get that 42S1 for about $800 that would be nice. 42" is pushing a bit.
 

DDR4040

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Drag, the Panasonic TCP-42S1 is no longer listed at the Costco web site. Odd to as it was listed at $1099. When in a local store yesterday they had they TC-50PS14 for $1199 (not on special either). Today on their web site I see this TC-50PS14 on sale for $999 ($200 off). I wonder if they will re-list the TCP-42S1 at a lower price. 50" is too big for my application. Plus if I could get that 42S1 for about $800 that would be nice. 42" is pushing a bit.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4445447&CatId=3653
 

-Sn1PeR-

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I just picked up the Panasonic 50in S14 plasma from Costco as well and absolutely love it so far. (used the $200 off coupon) As far as power consumption goes this thing puts off a lot less heat than my 27.5in Hannspree LCD monitor. They have improved drastically in power consumption. I honestly can't feel any noticeable heat output off the top rear of the screen or the screen itself, and I have no fan in the room for circulation. I had been looking at the G10 and G15 series 50 and 54in, but am very happy with the S14 (the main key feature missing being the XV colors, but I'm hoping with a good calibration after it breaks in this will be negligible). Love the quality of the blacks.
 

SBMongoos

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I just picked up the Panasonic 50in S14 plasma from Costco as well and absolutely love it so far. (used the $200 off coupon) As far as power consumption goes this thing puts off a lot less heat than my 27.5in Hannspree LCD monitor. They have improved drastically in power consumption. I honestly can't feel any noticeable heat output off the top rear of the screen or the screen itself, and I have no fan in the room for circulation. I had been looking at the G10 and G15 series 50 and 54in, but am very happy with the S14 (the main key feature missing being the XV colors, but I'm hoping with a good calibration after it breaks in this will be negligible). Love the quality of the blacks.

Nice feedback. I'm hoping that Costco gets the 42" S unit back. At least on the web. Better if in the store.

You going to let it break in for about six months and then hire someone to calibrate it?

I see Newegg sells the G for only $50 more than the S in the 42". Free shipping right now but the prices are $950 and $999 however. Tiger has the S for $799.
 
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-Sn1PeR-

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Nice feedback. I'm hoping that Costco gets the 42" S unit back. At least on the web. Better if in the store.

You going to let it break in for about six months and then hire someone to calibrate it?

I see Newegg sells the G for only $50 more than the S in the 42". Free shipping right now but the prices are $950 and $999 however. Tiger has the S for $799.

Thinking so. I've got a friend that does calibrations so I'll probably have him give it a go. There are some shared settings for the X series and hopefully the S1 will have settings out on some of the av forums as well.
 

SBMongoos

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Thinking so. I've got a friend that does calibrations so I'll probably have him give it a go. There are some shared settings for the X series and hopefully the S1 will have settings out on some of the av forums as well.

You live in Denver by chance? LOL. Be great to have a calibration done. If you find postings for settings post then here please as that would be great. But I thought the Panasonic's were limited for adjustments via remote.
 
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